In honor of President's Day, here are links to several blog pieces I've written about each of the first five American presidents:
here; this entry mentions a microbrew created with Washington's own recipe. My favorite online link regarding Washington is here, but be warned: it is very Unsafe For Work or for children.
John Adams: This entry reviews the John Adams miniseries that played on HBO a few years ago. It's less inaccurate than other films about the Revolutionary era, but I probably won't be using it in class.
Thomas Jefferson: A regular on this site, he was the subject of a short piece on the Beringian hypothesis of Native American origins, another on the first American diplomatic contact with Vietnam, a short primary-source-based reply to the Tea Partiers, and an essay replying to a blog entry by the inimitable Paul Bibeau.
James Madison: One of the more obscure early American presidents, unless one is in advertising, lives in Wisconsin, is a fan of the movie Splash, or likes to read the Federalist Papers for fun. Here are my thoughts on Madison's true legacy.
James Monroe: Despite being named for a famous Doctrine, Monroe has not previously piqued my interest on this weblog. I did note in a Twitter post a couple of years ago one of the more interesting pieces of trivia I discovered while researching a book chapter on Monroe: in the mid-1790s, when Monroe served as U.S. minister to France, his daughter Eliza attended school with Hortense Beauharnais, Napoleon Bonaparte's stepdaughter. This probably gave the two men some familiarity with one another when they met a decade later to discuss the Louisiana Purchase. Wikipedia, which knows more than me, points out that one of Hortense's portraits now hangs in James Monroe's plantation home in Virginia.
More to come on this subject, probably.